Pleated skirts are, much to my Mum’s delight “Oh I DO love a pleated skirt”, going from strength to strength. They are a trend that’s not going away, which is funny in some ways because other than a brief spell that I remember as a child, they pretty much disappeared from the skirt scene with pencil, mini, skater and midi skirts being more popular. I think that it may have been the rise of the popularity in midi skirts a few years ago now though, that saw them come back in to favour. Most pleated skirts fall into the “midi” category, so they ticked the box of being a “variation on a (midi skirt)” theme.
Sophia pleated skirt Reiss (£155)
I featured this skirt on my insta stories when I took some of you for a virtual shop earlier in the week. It’s absolutely beautiful. The pleats are razor sharp and edged in black for an even sharper look.
I still believe that there’s a pleated skirt for everyone, somewhere. Most crucially the issue is what kind of waistband is on the skirt and how the pleats fall from it. I’ve included lots of pictures below of me in various pleated skirt outfits and I’ll try to explain what I mean when we get to them.
Elsa pleated skirt Reiss (£155)
I haven’t seen this skirt in real life but the shape is virtually the same, if not the same, as the one above. What I like about this skirt is that the darker colour over the tum area is really flattering. And it’s just such a striking skirt – great if you’re after something different and you’re not really a floral/spots type girl.
Printed pleated skirt Mango (£49.99)
But then again, if spots are exactly your thing, this skirt from Mango could be just the ticket. It’s really lovely in real life and in the store they paired it with a pale blue jumper which looked gorgeous. Spots feature hugely on the High Street at the moment so expect to see a lot more spotty pieces over the next few weeks.
Printed pleated skirt Mango (£49.99)
This skirt ticks a lot of trend boxes in one go. The navy/yellow/white colour combo is a big trend this summer. Work in a go faster “athleisure” stripe along with a split and the pleats and oh boy you would so be nailing it. I really like the sporty vibe about this skirt – great if you’re not someone who loves girlie floaty skirts – or if like me you do but you’re also a bit of a chameleon and like sportier urban pieces (I totally made that phrase up – but I know what I mean!) too.
Stripes pleated skirt Mango (£49.99)
Stripes! Again another huge trend this season on everything from tops, to skirts, trousers and accessories. I love the interesting colour combination of this skirt which is again from Mango. They are really doing pleated skirts so well this season and there are also some pleated dresses coming through too, which are an interesting addition to the dress scene.
Leopard print skirt H&M (£34.99)
Yeah! Good old leopard print. This is a small print and not too “leopardy” if you know what I mean, making it a fairly easy leopard print to wear. I love leopard with anything red, denim, or neons too and as we know, leopard is the new neutral, so it’s definitely one to have fun with.
A metallic pleated skirt always feels a bit glam without being too try hard. It really is a great one to dress up or down and it can take you to so many different places just by changing up your top and/or shoes.
Batik Lily pleated skirt Whistles (£139)
I think that this skirt is a little bit marmite. It’s definitely in the colour of the season but whether it’s your cup of tea or not is a different matter. I think that a skirt like this works either if you’re going to go the whole hog and dress it up for a wedding, or dress it right down with a slogan tee or denim. Anything in between might just not work. But I’m happy to be proven wrong!
Pleated skirt HUSH (£89) (lined and elasticated waist)
I haven’t seen this skirt in the flesh as HUSH in our John Lewis don’t have it but having said that, I’m really tempted to order it and see what it’s like on. The blue and green combo are really striking but in a very wearable way and without being too dressy.
Pleated skirt in watermelon Jigsaw (£120) it also comes in blossom blue
The above skirt from Jigsaw is a real gem. It’s a great length, hangs well and the pleats are quite “flat” when they come out of the waistband, meaning that they fall in a really flattering way. It also comes in blossom blue (below) and gravel (below that).
Pleated skirt in blossom blue Jigsaw
When something is a little more on the expensive side (such as this skirt) as we all know, there are lots of things to consider for sure. It may be that it’s perfect for a wedding, or an event, but something that you would also get a lot of mileage out of afterwards, bringing the cost per wear down.
Pleated skirt in gravel Jigsaw (£120)
Or it may be that you’re not sure whether a pleated skirt is going to be for you, in which case maybe start off with an inexpensive one and see where it takes you. Or maybe the inexpensive one is perfect and there’s no need to look any further. Or perhaps you just fall in love with one like this, or it’s an amazing fit. So many things to think about!
Stripe maxi skirt Ted Baker (£120)
For anyone who is super tall, or who likes their pleated skirts to be full length, this one from Ted Baker is a possibility but I think its “sheerness” might need to be checked.
Contrast pleated panel maxi dress Ted Baker (£239)
And remember I mentioned earlier about pleated dresses? This one with its panel of pleats is so pretty. If anyone I know would like to get married, I’d be very happy to wear this to the occasion.
So here are some outfits “that I prepared earlier” – in some cases a lot earlier!
This gold M&S skirt is great for the winter. The velvet is lovely and shimmery. It has an elasticated waist band which is good because I can either wear it on my waist or drop it lower if I feel in need of a bit of extra length. The pleats aren’t too small or knife like, which I think suits me slightly better. Heels and a leather jacket give this skirt more of a dressed up feel.
This skirt from Topshop again has fairly open pleats and as there aren’t too many of them, there’s not so much volume in the skirt. I like the length of it and it’s a really versatile skirt. The heels glam up this skirt and jumper outfit but with boots or trainers it would look completely different.
This is an H&M pleated skirt. I find it harder to wear – possibly because there are more pleats in it and the fabric is quite stiff, meaning that if I bend over the skirt sort of folds and digs in. Sounds weird huh?!
This is probably the least favourite of my pleated skirts. The waist band isn’t elasticated and there are lots of pleats with lots of volume. As it’s pleather, it’s also a bulker fabric, so it’s less flattering than the green Topshop one.
It’s the Zara silver one again but this time with a fitted knit instead of a denim shirt.
Topshop again with metallic boots and a star print shirt
Topshop again with a blouse and trainers
And finally the Jigsaw skirt which I’ve linked to above with some crazy green boots!
I realise that pleated skirts won’t be for everyone, but I hope that these outfits have provided some ideas on what to stick with your pleated skirt. I think the fact that they’re not short, or clingy, that they have some volume (which is good if you like to take a big stride or don’t have the teeny tiniest of hips) all help to make them super wearable for busy ladies who love a skirt but who don’t want to feel restricted when it comes to bending over, loading the washing machine or striding out in force.